Book Lover

Thursday, April 25, 2013

I am a lover of all things books.

I'm that mom that orders like every single book in the Scholastic book order form and makes my kid carry home a 10 lb backpack.

When we moved, the boxes of kid's books filled an entire section of the moving van.....seriously.

I can't help it. I just love books.

Kind of like I love pens and purses and bags.....Now that I think of it, maybe that's why I became an English teacher. Just the thought of all those colored pens sitting on my desk in a cute little cup and the rows and rows of books I would have in my classroom organized by genre with a color coded sticker on the spine. Apparently the thought of all that organized book bliss made me spend 4 years in college so I could teach school for 2 and then quit my job to stay home with my baby girl and make more money doing something better (where I can still have colored pens and books....and purses and bags), but I digress.

Anyways, as I was saying. I really love books. So much so that I opened up my laptop to tell you about it, got distracted by a blog post, and ended up buying yet another book for my kindle.

It's a serious condition I have. I'm telling you. I have more books on my "to read list" then I will ever probably have time to read in a lifetime. And then people are going to keep writing more books, and my list will keep growing, and then what I am going to do?!

Have an even longer list I guess.

So I say all that to simply tell you that I love books (in case you haven't picked up on that one yet).

I love they way they make me feel. I love the memory I have of snuggling up with a book as a teenager and going to a different place. A place where it didn't matter what people thought of me or what kind of jeans I was wearing, or who my friends were.

Books have long been an escape for me....a journey to magical places and secret gardens (one of my favorite books as a little girl!), and I hope that my kids will love them the way I do.

As an adult, books help me gain perspective on life outside my bubble. They have helped me to see Christ in others and learn that I'm not the only one without perfect parenting skills. Books make me want to be a better person. They take me from the "I've got this" mentality to the "there is always something to learn" perspective, and I think overall, that perspective has served me well.

So with all that being said, I'm curious.....what is your favorite book lately? And what is your favorite kids' book?

I'm smack in the middle of reading Sparkly Green Earrings- Catching the Light at Every Turn by Melanie Shankle (aka Big Mama), and I cannot put it down. Anyone with kids (of any age) will smile through the pages of this one.

And my favorite kid's book right now is called Press Here by Herve Tullet. It is the funnest book for kids. Both my 4 and 6 year old beg to read it over and over again.

It's your turn....what are your favorites? Thanks in advance for sharing! 

When the Sky Makes Sense

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

I needed to be here today. I wanted my feet in the dirt.

I wanted to hear the birds in the rafters.

I wanted to see their incredibly peaceful and powerful. 

Do you ever wish you could stand on top of a mountain or put your feet in the sand at the edge of the ocean?

That's sort of what I needed today.

The peace of the barn. 

The sound of their hooves in the dirt. 

The peace of their eyes.

Inside the stable, I feel peace.

It's the kind of peace I hope my kids feel in their rooms at night.

I lie with them each night before bed. And their rooms feel safe.

Stars fill their dark ceilings and music plays softly in the background.

It's the kind of peace that I hope they'll find in nature.

The whisper of a warm, gentle breeze.

The peace of bare feet in soft summer grass. 

When the world doesn't make sense, the sky does. 

When I start to question why people do the things they do, the birds go about their business as they always have, and I'm comforted by them. 

When fear begins to creep in because we live in a scary world surrounded by evil, I am reminded that my God is the beginning and the end. He is the Alpha and the Omega. He always is, always was, and always will be. 

And like I said once before, if it all comes crumbling down, and my worst fears ever become reality.....then, God. 

Nothing more and nothing less. He is all I need. And today I was so comfortingly reminded of that truth. 

(Written on Tuesday, April 17th. 1 day after the Boston Marathon.) 

Baby Lag...because it's a real thing

I'm inventing a's called "baby lag."

It's going to be a real thing, people. I'm telling you now. Start using it with your friends because it's real!

I recently had a baby, and by recently, I mean less than a year ago.

That's recently if you ask me.

and I still have baby lag.

I feel like I'm slowing emerging from the fog of baby lag, but it's a very slow and arduous process.

I am in complete awe of you super moms who have a baby and then return to normal life and work as if nothing odd at all has happened in a mere 6 weeks.


I'm still complaining about my back pain and the inability I have to breathe when I go up the stairs, and I have not been "with child" in 6 months!

(oh, I'm sorry....did you say that's just being out of shape? Oh, okay, then that's what I am too.)

I am suffering from baby lag AND out of shapeness. There. Are you happy?


Me too.

So back to that baby lag case you have not yet caught on, I'm doing a play on words...instead of "jet lag" it's "baby lag."

So now we're all on the same page.

I tell you all this to tell you that I'm sorry that I apparently forgot how to open my computer in the past 6 months. If you have emailed me, tweeted me, facebooked me or tried to link me in (I'm still confused about that one too),  I have probably not responded to you.

This post is not a reassurance that I will respond to you, just a clarification that I am not unsupportive or unresponsive or uncaring, I am simply suffering from baby lag, and I cannot guarantee a time frame in which my life will return to standard operating procedure.

But in the meantime, I have decided (in my midnight, "I'm still nursing, therefore pumping while I should be sleeping state") that I am supposed to and will be writing from this point on until you can't stand my craziness any longer.

Just thought you should know that I have a legitimate excuse and it's called, "I recently made a baby, and I'm still not over it."

Hoping you still love me and didn't forget who I was.

A Magnificent Obsession

Monday, April 8, 2013

This is my closing presentation from our 2013 Spring Training. May it be a blessing to you today. 

At first glance, this acorn seems small. Insignificant almost. 

A snack to a squirrel. A toy to a child. A fond memory to an adult.  

What’s interesting to me, is that an acorn never once considers it’s small size. You see, an acorn’s only purpose in life is to become an oak tree. 

An oak. 

Majestic. Strong. A symbol of endurance and grace. 

It’s amazing that something so large, starts so small. 

What you just witnessed was the work of an acorn over a span of 8 months. 

And that is just the beginning. 

Did you know that a fully mature oak tree has a root system that is wider than it’s widest limbs?

The foundation of an oak (it’s roots) stretch at least 3x wider than it’s canopy. 

Within the first year, the taproot of an oak can reach more than a foot in depth. The roots of an oak can travel pretty fast, almost 25 millimeters in a day. 

If you were patient, and you could see underground, you could watch them grow. Half of the total food that the tree makes each year goes to grow new roots. 

And it all begins with an acorn. 

I’ve been thinking about oak trees a lot the past couple weeks. I knew I wanted to talk about them. About the way they grow. About their strength and endurance. 

We have 110 oak trees encircling our new home. And I have had the honor of watching them begin to bloom the past few weeks. 

I’ve studied them. 

The way they grow. Near each other, under each other, around each other. It’s incredibly intriguing. 

This poem is a perfect visual of the strength of a an oak. 

The Oak Tree

A mighty wind Blew night and day.
It stole the oak tree’s leaves away,
Then snapped its boughs 
And pulled it's bark
Until the oak was tired and stark. 

But still the oak tree held its ground
While other trees fell all around. 
The weary wind gave up and spoke, 
“How can you still be standing, Oak?” 

The oak tree said, 
“I know that you 
Can break each branch of mine in two,
Carry every leaf away, 
Shake my limbs, and make me sway. 
But I have roots stretched in the earth, 
Growing stronger since my birth. 
You’ll never touch them, for you see, 
They are the deepest part of me. 
Until today, 
I wasn’t sure
Of just how much I could endure. 
But now I’ve found, with thanks to you
I’m stronger than I ever knew.”
Author unknown

I have been selling Scentsy for 5 and 1/2 years.  I have seen people come and go. 
And I have spent a lot of time lately thinking about why people go. 

I don’t take it personally. I know that it works for some people and it doesn’t for others. 

But I started thinking about the people who stay. 

Why do they stay? Maybe that’s the better question. 

There is a reason why people stay. I’ve heard it 1,000 times. I know in my soul that it’s the reason. But I was reminded by a small acorn, what it is that keeps people moving. 

I could stand here and tell you step by step how to run your business. That is basically what we’ve done today. That is what you’ll find scribbled through the notes of your booklet. Resources, ideas, action steps....goals even. 

But none of that is enough. 

Jim Rohn, the author of the 5 Major Pieces to the Life Puzzle says it best when he explains that: 

“Most people are caught up in the how- to of success and have not yet captured the importance of the why-to. They don’t know that reasons come 1st and answers come 2nd. They have not yet discovered that when a human mind locks on to a personal obsession, it does not need a book of instructions or a training class on how to take advantage of opportunity.” 

No one besides you can determine your why-to. 

Why should you make this work? 

Why should you try again and again? 

Why should you keep going when you hear no? 

I don’t know. 

But I’m betting that in your gut...somewhere deep inside you, you know. 

When I stated doing this, my why-to was crystal clear. 

She was what I would call my "magnificent obsession." 

I’ve heard people say that they can’t be successful at something like this because of their kids. I beg to differ. I am successful because of my kids. 

They are why I get up in the morning. 

They are why I work hard and then harder. 

They are why I push the limits, try to learn more, try to be better. 

They are it for me. 

I wanted nothing more than to be able to stay at home with her. I wanted to be her mommy day in and day out. 

I didn’t want someone else taking care of her. I wanted to do it. 

5 years ago, the how to’s from Scentsy were minimal. There weren’t trainings and stories and examples. There was a product and a dream. 

But my why-to was enough. 

Fast forward 15 months. I had been home as a momma for about a year. Running my business, loving on my girl, and anxiously awaiting the arrival of Dalke baby #2, our son, Luke. 

After Luke was born, I battled a lot of fear and anxiety. I began to watch myself change and grow. 

It was that fear and anxiety that would push my roots deeper into the ground. I would wrap myself in my faith, into God’s word, and into my business. 

My business was good. Strong, sturdy. But it needed to establish roots. Deep roots that would carry it. 

My business started to make more money, and Brian was having extremely successful months selling high line cars. We thought that surely since we had the family that we’d always wanted, and our credit card debt finally paid off, and a new house, and more money than we’d ever made, that we would be happy. 

But that’s not exactly how it played out. What we thought we had been waiting for all along.....our big break, everything we’d ever asked for, we finally had. And we weren’t happy. 

And suddenly we either had to make this work or get out. 

And it was during that time, when I thought that all the money we were making was surely going to be enough, that I learned that my why-to, couldn’t be about money. 

From day 1, my why-to was about my baby girl. And at any point, when I lose sight of that, I get discouraged, frustrated, disappointed, and annoyed. 

But when I remember that they are why I work, and they are why I do what I do, and they are why I do it over and over and over again, I am filled with passion and ambition and drive and purpose. 

They are my magnificent obsession

Just like an acorn’s only obsession is to become an oak tree, my magnificent obsession is to give them the “best days.”

And because of them, I have been able to expand my obsession. Not only do I get to love the heck out of them every single day, but now I get to help other women grow businesses with roots as wide as the oak tree. I get to give my time and resources to amazing organizations like Hope Link

When your business hits obstacles, you have to have a big enough why-to to keep going. 

Did you know that you’re not supposed to water an oak tree? Watering an oak tree results in shallow roots as the roots migrate to the surface to look for water instead of digging deep into the earth to find it. 

Your success will not be handed to you. You will have to dig deep for it. You will have to make a conscious effort to be a better you everyday. 

Once you know your why-to, you can use it to not only better your own business and your own life, but you can better the lives of others. 

Why do you do what you do and how do you use it to change something? 

Just as I’ve watched people come and go into a Scentsy business, I have watched a great number of people come and stay. They come with a very clear why-to and they begin to change things around them for the better. I am inspired by these people. They keep me motivated and keep me moving forward. 

Jami Sullins comes to mind first. She has taken her success with Scentsy and flown overseas to Haiti to serve and love on Haitian orphans. Her why-to, far exceeds her how-to. 

My friends the Stewarts recently moved from Oklahoma to Colorado. Honestly without them, these events would never happen. They are at the core of every training we do. 

Tamara has started a Wonderfully Made nursery in their new church. It’s a children’s church designed for and centered around special needs kids. Last week they had 9 children in the wonderfully made room, and it’s growing. 

And there are so many of you. So many of you doing great things. And so many of you who I think want to do greater things.

Did you know that when trees exist within a woodland ecosystem and 1 of them becomes nutritionally deprived, the other trees share nutrients via their root system to ensure that the whole system remains healthy? 

How do we make our business like that? How do we behave like trees? Growing our roots wide and strong and staying interconnected, open, and community minded? 

Maybe it’s by never allowing ourselves to do less than we could have done. Never allowing ourselves to be less than we could have been. 

The only thing that prevents us from being our best selves is fear. 

You know what’s beautiful about an acorn? It doesn’t know how to fear anything. 

It seems that every life form on this planet strives toward it’s maximum potential...except human beings. 

You see, A tree does not grow to half it’s potential size and then say, “I guess that will do.” A tree will drive its roots as deep as possible. It will soak up as much nourishment as it can, stretch as high and as wide as nature will allow, and then look down as if to remind us of how much each of us could become if we would only do all that we can. 

To reach our full potential and grow like the mighty oak, we must make our why-to more important than our how-to. 

We must remember that reasons come 1st and answers come 2nd. 

So the question becomes, What is your magnificent obsession?

Whatever it is, it has to be at the center of your business. 

My challenge to you today is to make sure you have a magnificent obsession and make it the core of everything that you do.....a why-to reason to work your business. 

And just remember that, Mighty oaks from tiny acorns grow. 

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